Top Film Industry Leaders To Explore Africa’s Potential As Film Destination

Encouraging growth in the film industry is vital for South Africa’s economic recovery after the pandemic. But now that the industry has opened up, embracing local shoots with smaller casts and only key crew on set, the industry’s economic potential is once again in the spotlight.

Drawing more international shoots to South Africa is the key focus of Locations Africa, a private sector initiative focusing on filming locations, facilities, and skills. To make this a reality, Locations Africa will be hosting a two-day conference in Johannesburg and online today, 6 October and Thursday 7 Africa.

The conference will unpack the endless possibilities South Africa and the rest of the continent offer filmmakers while highlighting the numerous benefits of filming at Africa locations, with a stellar lineup of speakers and panellists.

Among those high-level participants are:

  • Unathi Malunga, Executive Director of the South Africa Screen Federation: A Fulbright scholar with an LLM from UCLA, Unathi’s work has been in the creative industries and has spanned across a variety of platforms and territories, leading to a full understanding of various media platforms and their most effective uses.
  • Kevin Jennings, President of the Association Of Film Commissions International: He has held positions on New Zealand’s regional film commissions, having helped raise the country’s profile as an international filming destination and make entertainment production a major contributor to the nation’s economy.
  • Film specialist Thandeka Zwana , who has worked in the production of several film and television projects, most notably the Pan African series Imagine Africa and the award-winning documentary feature Robert Sobukwe: A Great Soul. After doing a course in script editing, Thandeka joined the National Film and Video Foundation, developing and promoting South African films, both locally and internationally.
  • Themba Khumalo, South African Tourism Chief Marketing Officer: He is responsible for defining, establishing and driving the South African Tourism brand in the domestic, regional and global markets as well as driving the overall marketing effort in order to achieve the economic outcomes required of the tourism sector from the National Development Plan.

Other speakers include Serbian creative industry specialist Martin Cuff, owner of Indigenous Film Distribution Helen Kuun, Kwazulu-Natal Film Commission Chief Operations Officer Jackie Motsepe, Locations Managers Guild International members Kevin Bell and Georgette Turner (UK), Location scout and managers Johnny Ludlow (UK) and Faith Musembi (Kenya), screenwriter and author Sabelo Mgidi, screenwriter and producers Sean Drummond And Kemi Adesoye (Nigeria), Triple Story Content Managing Director Monareng Makwetla, and festival director Noel Kok.

“We’ve gathered some of the biggest names in the film and production industry to showcase the potential of our continent as a location. We hope to increase the number of films shot on location in Africa, and in so doing, develop skills in both private and public sectors to support filmmakers. Africa has unlimited potential as a film destination, and encouraging growth in this sector holds the promise of unlocking business opportunities for those from disadvantaged backgrounds across the continent,” said Azania Muendane, Founder of Locations Africa.

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By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers. Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry. Catch him on Twitter: Instagram: IMDb: